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On today’s episode of the Flex Diet Podcast, I’m speaking with Mike Mahler about hormones, their effects, and what you can do to feel and perform better. Toward the end, we take a deep dive into our favorite music and bands. Enjoy!

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Listen to hear:

  • [2:14] Why should people care about their hormones and what are the starting points?

  • [7:14] What matters when reading testosterone levels
  • [14:06] How diet can affect free testosterone
  • [20:39] How head injuries affect hormones
  • [25:25] The importance of sleep
  • [31:13] What gets you the most bang for your buck health-wise
  • [37:24] What Mike does on vacation
  • [42:02] Recreation as exercise
  • [52:37] Why every gym session doesn’t need to be max effort
  • [1:04:20] Transfer effect
  • [1:12:42] Mike and Mike talk music

Connect with Mike:

About Mike:

Mike Mahler is a nutrition supplement designer and hormone optimization enthusiast based in Las Vegas, NV. Mike has been in the fitness industry for over twenty years and has taught workshops all over the US and overseas. His current focus is on the field of hormone optimization via nutrition, training, nutrition supplements, and lifestyle. Mike is also the author of Live Life Aggressively! What Self-Help Gurus Should Be Telling You

Mike is a respected writer, known for his honest and fluff-free style, and has written over a hundred articles for publications such as Muscle & Fitness, Men’s Fitness, Hardcore Muscle Magazine, Planet Muscle, Testosterone Magazine, Ironman Magazine, Ironman Magazine Japan, and Exercise Magazine For Men. Mike has also been featured in Muscle & Fitness, Men’s Fitness UK, and CBS News

Mike is also an avid financial supporter for many charities including Project Child Save to help save kids from human trafficking, The Warrior Angels Foundation to help soldiers with PTSD due to traumatic brain injuries Voice For The Animals, to help homeless animals and animal rights legislation, and No Dogs Left Behind to help rescue animals from the horrific dog meat trade. When you support my company you indirectly support all of these fantastic organizations and many others.


Rock on!

Dr. Mike T Nelson

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Full text below

Dr. Mike T Nelson

Dr. Mike T Nelson

PhD, MSME, CISSN, CSCS Carrick Institute Adjunct Professor Dr. Mike T. Nelson has spent 18 years of his life learning how the human body works, specifically focusing on how to properly condition it to burn fat and become stronger, more flexible, and healthier. He’s has a PhD in Exercise Physiology, a BA in Natural Science, and an MS in Biomechanics. He’s an adjunct professor and a member of the American College of Sports Medicine. He’s been called in to share his techniques with top government agencies. The techniques he’s developed and the results Mike gets for his clients have been featured in international magazines, in scientific publications, and on websites across the globe.

  • PhD in Exercise Physiology
  • BA in Natural Science
  • MS in Biomechanics
  • Adjunct Professor in Human
  • Performance for Carrick Institute for Functional Neurology
  • Adjunct Professor and Member of American College of Sports Medicine
  • Instructor at Broadview University
  • Professional Nutritional
  • Member of the American Society for Nutrition
  • Professional Sports Nutrition
  • Member of the International Society for Sports Nutrition
  • Professional NSCA Member


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[00:00:00] Dr Mike T Nelson: .

Welcome back to the Flex Diet Podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Mike T. Nelson. On the podcast, we discuss different ways to increase lean body, mass muscle performance, and improve body composition via nutrition and training, and do it all in a flexible approach without destroying your health in the process. Today we’ve got my buddy Mike Mahler on the podcast, and we’re primarily talking about the effect of hormones and what should you do.

This one is a little bit more geared toward guys, but obviously they’ll be good information all around. And if you want more information about fitness and nutrition, you can check out my newsletter the Fitness Insider. Go to and there’ll be different opt-ins there you can click on and it’ll take you directly to the newsletter, which is completely free.

And we’ve got all sorts of great information that goes directly to your email. And of course, we don’t sell your address or give you to crazy spammers or anything like that. So go to and sign up. As I mentioned, Mike Mahler is on the podcast today, we’re gonna talk a little bit about hormone optimization.

If you’re a guy, should you just be looking at only testosterone? The answer is no. what other measurements should you be looking at? How do they all play together? What is the role of lifestyle? And then of course we talk about training, the purpose and point of recreation, and of course a little bit about music towards the end since Mike listens to awesome music also.

And yeah, it was just a really fun conversation. Be sure to check out all of his information. We’ll put links to it below here in the podcast and enjoy this conversation with Mike.

[00:02:14] Dr Mike T Nelson: The basic question is why should people care about hormones and then what are the starting points?

Because I think, especially now with man, like you hit a few wrong buttons on the internet and I get blasted with t r t ads, like nonstop from. Man, I don’t know, but they look like some pretty questionable

[00:02:34] Mike Mahler: sites.

Yeah. Any place that’s a TRT clinic is already questionable because guess what? They only do one thing.

T R T. No, T R T. hormone optimization is a lot more than testosterone and you shouldn’t even get on T R T without knowing your testosterone levels, of course, but also older precursor hormones such as Pagnol alone. D H e a and also estrogen. You wanna know all those things because most of the time, if you replace testosterone, you also have to replace pagnol alone in D H E A, because just replacing testosterone will down-regulate those hormones.

And pagnol alone is the most important hormone for neural health, for memory and focus. D H A is the ultimate stress management hormones. The last thing you wanna do is deplete that, and then estrogen. If it’s too high or low, that’s problematic as well. If it’s too low, you have no sex drive and no sex function.

Zero. Doesn’t matter how high your testosterone is, if your estrogen is too low. Now, this is not a problem most men have. Most men have the opposite problem. Their estrogen levels are too high, and that has similar side effects. Again, you’re gonna have poor sex function and you’re gonna be really moody, and you’re gonna have a hard time just being driven to get anything done.

So it’s a delicate balance, and that’s why just overly fixating on one thing is problematic. Men tend to focus on. Testosterone. How do I improve my testosterone levels? What are my testosterone levels? And testosterone is absolutely important, but it’s one of many hormones that are important. And we could argue that it’s not as important as master control hormones, such as insulin, leptin, growth hormone, melatonin.

These are hormones that have a myriad of effects across the board. So we could argue that you should focus on those more because if you optimize insulin, leptin, melatonin, and growth hormone, Pretty much everything else is gonna fall in the place. You’re gonna improve your testosterone and other hormones by default.

But the reason, the main reason why people should care about hormones is you have to look at what hormones are. Hormones are biochemical messengers that induce actions. So if you feel really driven, it’s predicated on your hormonal profile. If you’re very depressed, there’s a hormonal reason for that as well.

And all we have to do is look at anyone who’s ever been around, a woman who has really bad PMs symptoms. We know all too well how devastating. The hormonal impact can be, and there’s nothing more irritating than telling a woman who’s dealing with serious p m s symptoms to, it’s all in your head. Just get over it.

She is programmed to feel the way she’s feeling at that moment, and there isn’t anything you can do about it. No, me, no amount of meditation is gonna help. Your programs are your hormones, rather are programming you to feel a certain way and it’s gonna be impossible to feel otherwise. So if you have really to low testosterone levels as a man, it’s impossible for you to feel confident and have a high sex drive and feel driven.

It is impossible. You can lie to yourself all day long. You can look in the mirror and give yourself affirmations until the per into perpetuity, it’s gonna be to no avail. But on the flip side, once you optimize your hormones, then all of those other things fall into place. Now you’re naturally driven, you wake up.

You can’t wait to get your day started. You can’t wait to pursue your goals. You can’t wait to go to the gym and crush it with training. You can’t wait to do anything that’s gonna further your growth and progress. So basically, essentially we are our hormone. If you have a poor hormonal profile, it will have a negative impact on your life, assuming it’s not already, and it’s only gonna get worse as you get older.

And on the flip side, if you take the time to optimize your hormonal profile, I’m not gonna say you’re gonna live forever or that you’re not gonna age at all, but you’re gonna age much better. There’s no doubt about that.

[00:06:13] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, and especially you mentioned about like testosterone being the main hormone, it feels because testing is becoming so much more accessible now, obviously through a physician, some states without a physician, It feels like that’s for dudes, that’s like the new bench press number.

It’s what’s your testosterone number? And it’s like higher the better, but it’s, yeah, that’s a great analogy. Yeah. As you pointed out it, it’s not like this simple linear scale either. If you’re low and hypogonadal, yeah, you’re definitely gonna see some issues if using exogenous substance and you’re in this supra physiologic range, yes, that’s gonna be beneficial, comes with some cost.

But what are your thoughts about this goal to try to optimize testosterone at all costs? Cause I get emails, you probably get way more than I do of, oh man, my testosterone on the US scale is like four 80 and my brother guy down this street is seven 30. I should be a lot higher. But they don’t have symptoms.

You go through the list, you’re like, no, that’s good. And you’re like, I don’t know, I’m not a physician. I’m probably not that super worried about it.


[00:07:14] Mike Mahler: symptoms are the most important thing, so that’s a salient point you just brought up. Also, total testosterones are relevant.

You don’t even have to bother getting that tested. The only number that matters is free testosterone. That’s what you have access to. Total testosterone is like having a bank account with a million dollars in it, but you only have access to 10% of it. So in essence, you only have a hundred thousand dollars.

The other 900,000 you don’t have access to, so you and mines will not even exist. So total testosterone doesn’t matter. I had a guy send me his blood work recently and his total testosterone was four 80 and it’s not a bad number. It’s not a great number, but he, and he was, Devastated by that number. He goes, ma’am my levels have never been this low.

But here’s the thing. His free testosterone was 1 0 5 on a scale of 55 to 1 55. So that’s actually a really good number. My total testosterone’s seven 30, my free testosterone’s 1 0 5, his total testosterone is four 80. His free testosterone is 1 0 5. So in essence, we both have the same exact testosterone levels.

The only ones that matter. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s nice for me to see a high number of total when I look at my blood work. Gives you a little ego boost, like the bench present analogy you said. But the reality is, if I had high total and low free it’s to no avail. It doesn’t even matter. But this guy had not low total, but not optimal.

So if we only tested the total, he would probably. Draw some erroneous conclusions, but because he got free testosterone tested, we knew that he’s fine and his symptoms were fine too. It’s not as if he were experiencing low sex drive and low sex function and all that. His estrogen levels were a little bit too low.

They were 18 estradiol. You want to be around, let’s say 25 to 35 on the scale, and he was about 18. So it’s not, I would say 20 is the bottom of what you want your estradiol levels to be. You’re probably better off a little bit higher than that. 18 is almost within the. Good range, but if he actually elevated it a little bit higher, I think he would actually feel better.

But again, it’s based on symptomology. If he’s not feeling anything I’m talking about then no big thing. So I think we tend to be really pedantic with blood work, especially men. Men are always about numbers. What’s my income? Yes. Simple numbers. Yeah. If a man has a really good income, he can’t wait for someone to ask what his income is, or if he’s really proud of what he does for a living.

Let’s say he’s a physician or a lawyer, or anything that people hold with high esteem, he can’t wait for someone to ask that. Just like when people start working out, they. Overly, just like we all did you, I’m sure you and I did the same thing when we were teenagers. All I did was bench pressing curls for the first five years I could.

And once I started getting some decent numbers, I couldn’t wait for someone to ask me what my bench is. Now if someone asks me what my bench is, I just say, I don’t bench. Because the easy thing to say is talk about what you used to do. I hate the, yeah, I don’t like what anyone talks about what they used to be able to do.

If you can’t do it now, who cares what you used to be able to do? So not as if I get asked what can I bench press so much these days? But if someone does ask, I’m like, oh, I don’t bench press. And that’s even more shocking of a response than

[00:10:12] Dr Mike T Nelson: talking about what’s wrong with you.

So if you’re free, testosterone was on the lower side, and obviously there’s a whole bunch of things that could implicate that. But would you be looking at like sex hormone-binding globulin? What other markers would you be looking at? Assuming their testosterone was within a semi-normal

[00:10:31] Mike Mahler: range?

Yeah. Sex hormone-binding globulins an interesting compound because. It’s often framed as something negative, but what sex hormone binding globulin is it attaches itself to testosterone and it’s a transport hormone. It actually takes it to places to be utilized. So what you don’t want your sex hormone binding globulin to be too low because you want it to be able to be transported to areas for benefit.

You don’t want it to be too high either, because then it’s basically de. Now, just because someone has low free testosterone doesn’t mean they have high sex hormone binding globulin. I’ve seen people with perfectly normal sex hormone binding globulin in the middle of the range, and they still have low free testosterone.

So it’s not always predicated on sex hormone binding globulin. But it is worth noting what that number is, because often it can be related to that. Then you would take things such as nettle roots. I actually have a testosterone booster. I’m gonna plug my product a little bit because yeah. One, I’m proud of it because it actually works.

I think it’s a great product. Obviously I’m biased. I’m the one I sell it. But I designed a really good testosterone booster called Aggressive Strength, and it has four ingredients that are really good for optimizing testosterone. The number one ingredient is a South African herb called Bine Netta lenses.

That’s the cornerstone ingredient that increases both total and free testosterone, but one of the other ingredients, nettle root, stinging nettle roots that helps unbind testosterone from sex hormone binding globulin, and not just testosterone, but D H T. It helps unbind, D H T. from sex hormone binding globulin and dht is even more important than testosterone.

For all the things that we associate with testosterone, that alpha male feeling, that drive that confidence in sex drive in particular D H t, is way more powerful than testosterone is. So what we don’t want though, is just a lot of dhts circulating into bloodstream because that can cause some problems.

What we want is high levels of free testosterone because according to Dr. Mark Gordon, free testosterone can, penetra can penetrate the blood-brain barrier and then get converted into D H T and that way we get all the benefits of D H T without the negatives. Cuz if you have too much D H T, it can cause some inflammation in the prostate.

It can start, you can start having prostate issues, but that’s not really something that, is that common? Honestly, that is, that’s. Basically the prostate makes its own levels of d h T, just like the testicles make its own test, make its own cholesterol levels as well. So sometimes people argue, Hey, if your cholesterol levels are too low, that has a negative impact on testosterone.

The cholesterol circulating through your bloodstream has nothing to do with the cholesterol that’s actually in your testicles. Your testicles make its own, or cholesterol, and then cholesterol is converted into sex hormones. PNI alone, D H E A, testosterone. But the other thing with free testosterone, I was before I always go off on tangents, but the other thing with free testosterone is if you actually have too much fiber in your diet, that can actually lower your free testosterone levels.

That’s why sometimes people such as vegans, like myself, we eat a lot of fiber and sometimes I see vegan’s blood work where their total testosterone is really good, but sometimes they’re free testosterone is on the low side, and when I profile their diet, it’s always because they’re taking in super large amounts of fiber.

So what I always say is don’t worry about the fiber that comes with the whole food. Just avoid adding fiber sources to it. Skip the flax seeds and things like that. Some people add ground flax seeds, which do have some benefits, but if you’re already taking in a lot of fiber, don’t add sources of straight fiber to your.

[00:13:59] Dr Mike T Nelson: What is the mechanism on that? Is it binding it somehow or some sort of feedback loop, or more fiber tends

[00:14:06] Mike Mahler: to affect it? I think it increases sex hormone binding globulin. So the more you have in your diet, the more sex hormone binding globulin you have. And again, sex hormone and binding globulin is not a bad thing.

Just like there’s no hormone that’s good or bad. Like when people talk about what do men, why do men feel that they want to get testosterone as high as possible and get estrogen as low as possible? And that couldn’t be further from the truth. You don’t want testosterone as high as possible. You wanted at the optimal number, whatever that is for you.

So the optimal number for you is gonna be different than me. It’s gonna be different to the next five people we see on the street. So that’s why you never really C that’s why I don’t compare myself to other people. I could say, yeah, my total testosterone is 700. And then you could be like, man, mine’s nine 80.

And then all of a sudden I’m like, man, this is nine 80, mine is nine 80. I thought I had a good number, but maybe you need nine 80 to feel great and I only need 700 to feel great. Someone else may only need four 80 to feel great. So we don’t wanna get overly fixated on those things either.

[00:15:00] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. Cause I’ve had mine tested a whole bunch of times and mine’s never been above 500.

Free testosterone. Everything else has generally been pretty good, haven’t had any symptoms. The only time for a period where it was horrible was when I was back doing my PhD. Yeah. And I think the lowest I ever had it tested was 2 0 2, I think. Oh, wow. But completely self-induced. I’m taking caffeine power naps in the back of my car at fricking nine in the morning, sleeping five hours a night, running around like a crazy person stressed out of my mind for, five to seven years.

So it was, I didn’t do anything about it per se at that point, because I knew it was all 100% lifestyle related. It took about a year and a half to resolve some of that stress. And then when I did everything, went back to normal

[00:15:45] Mike Mahler: again. You know what’s interesting though is that would’ve been a, that would’ve been a good time for you to do a T R T experiment just for that period, just during your whole PhD thing, because the t r T is going to get it into an optimal range, irrespective of what’s going on in your life.

You could have no sleep, you could have stress, you’d be going through a divorce, you could have financial stress. But if you’re getting testosterone cream or a shot, it’s gonna take it to a range and keep it there regardless. So there are times where I feel that t r T can be useful. I’m not saying that everyone who’s doing a PhD program should get it.

Yeah. . But I’m saying that if you’re, if you could have kept your testosterone at five or 600 along with other hormones at optimal levels, it would’ve facilitated that whole process. It would’ve been, you would’ve had an easier time in school is where I’m going. So sometimes people go through serious loss, death of a loved one, and they’re.

Understandably very depressed state, and I actually don’t think it’s a bad idea for someone in that state to get on some kind of hormone replacement, D H E A predni and testosterone just temporarily, just for a couple months to get you through that difficult phase and then get off of it. Because the thing about hormones also is sometimes people feel, once you start taking hormones, you have to do it for the rest of your life.

And that’s not true either. You could do an experiment like, look, both of us could decide to get on T R T after this episode and say, let’s do t r T for three, six months and see how we feel on it, and then we decide, you know what? I don’t wanna be on this for the rest of my life. No big thing. There’s protocols you can put in place to rejuvenate your own levels.

Things such as Clomid or MIT booster or H c G, get your levels right back where they were before you were on T R t, and now you go on with your life. So just because someone tries something doesn’t mean that you’re stuck on that path for the rest of your life. And not every form of hormone replacement shuts down natural production.

For example, D H E A, if I take D H E A cream now, if I stop taking D H E A cream, it’s not as if my D H E A goes to zero, it just goes right back to where it was before I started taking the cream. I’ve done this several times on testing. So not every not every hormone shuts down natural production.

Taking melatonin, for example, doesn’t shut down natural production of melatonin. Taking ol alone doesn’t shut down natural production of pregnenolone. On the other hand, taking growth hormone definitely shuts down natural. Dr. Gordon says, you take one shot, you’ve already shut down your production just from one shot for several days or longer.

Testosterone will shut down your own production over time. But what you could do is someone who’s on T R T, they could run a fertility drug called Clomid at the same time, or they could run my testosterone booster at the same time, or they could run H C G at the same time. And not only will that keep your natural production going, it will enable you to take much less of a T R T dosage because the lowest T T R T dosage is what you should be after.

And the problem with these T R T clinics is they put everybody on the same dosage. So you and I could both go in there and have different levels, and they’ll put us on a hundred milligrams a week of a testosterone shot. Every single person who comes through there, they’re basically gonna get that. But if you can keep your natural testosterone levels as high as possible, then you need a much smaller dosage of replacement to get you into a healthier range or to a range that you feel fantastic.

[00:18:53] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. And in a full disclosure, that’s what I ended up doing through a doc. I spent about eight months Yeah. Trying to do it on my own. And man, I just thought, okay, once I’m done, ah, it’s great. I’ll be able to sleep. Dude, I was sleeping 11 to 12 hours a night for months on end, and that was just to be, upright and get through the day.

Yeah. And so long story short, went in, had a bunch of stuff checked, and we ended up doing a bunch of gut stuff. And then I did do D H E A and pregnant alone. I just wanted to start with those for the reasons you mentioned, because Yeah, there doesn’t appear to be as much negative feedback loops on them.

Yeah. And over time it took probably a year and a half and I was on it for maybe four months. Hard to say if it helped or not, but it, the trajectory, everything was moving in the right direction. And the thing that was interesting, now I look back on it. , I think it was a combination of stress.

I think some of those hormones did help. But the thing that I missed was my aerobic system had completely degraded to absolute dog crap. . And it wasn’t until I started training that everything got back to a more normal level again too. So again, probably like you’re saying, right?

It could be a combination of, many different things. And I like the advice of, for me, I just wanted to start with something that I knew probably had the least negative effects. Let’s see what we can get, from that, at some point, I don’t use t r t right now, I’m not against it.

But I just see too many people going in, they just test your testosterone. They’re like, oh, you’re low or borderline low. Yeah. And they just replace testosterone and what you’re saying, which I agree with. It could be a whole bunch of things. It could be there’s several other cascades. It could be, yeah.

I know Mark Gordon’s talked about this too. It could be You got a history of concussions, right? Concussions are well known to potentially shut down that, that whole access too.

[00:20:39] Mike Mahler: Absolutely. That could be a big one. That would be the first thing I ask someone is, have you ever been in a car accident or did you play football in high school?

Do you do martial arts? Do you do anything where there’s impact? Do you go snowboarding? I’ve gone snowboarding since I was 14. I’ve definitely had many wipeouts in the hype. None of us. Me too, back then, , I skateboarding now, and because I come from the old school, when I go skateboarding now at almost 50, I still don’t wear a helmet.

I’m not saying this is a smart thing to do, it’s just that we didn’t grow up with that. We rode our bikes all over the place. We crashed. We didn’t have helmets on. Same thing with skateboarders. None of us wore helmets back then and snowboarding. When I was snowboarding, no one had a helmet on. Now if you go to the skateboard, everybody has a helmets on, but none of us had helmets on and we all crashed.

We all had impacts. I re, I remember hitting my head against the ice many times over the course of many years. Yeah, so those are the kind of things I would ask as well. But see, the thing is that there, there’s a twofold problem. On one hand, physicians are overworked. So they’re looking for the quickest route they can give you to get you out the door.

They might have 15 minutes with you. So they’re looking at these numbers going, okay, what’s the fastest, most expedient way for me to improve these numbers? Get ’em on a medication, or get ’em on some kind of hormone replacement. And then people always say, oh, doctors just, all they do is prescribe drugs.

Okay, you can make an argument for that, but. It’s also what people wants because people don’t, oh, a hundred percent changes. Someone goes to a doctor and he has super high cholesterol. He doesn’t want to hear, Hey, cut out the bacon and stop eating pancakes every morning. He wants to hear, what drug can I take so I can still continue to do what I enjoy doing?

So it’s a twofold prom. It’s one, it’s easier for doctors just to give out medications including hormone replacement. But two, it’s what a lot of patients want as well. A lot of pa I, I know guys in their late twenties, early thirties who are trying to get on t r t. Yeah. I go, why do you need T R T at that age?

And it’s not even so much that they need it, it’s just that they don’t wanna change anything in their lifestyle. So I, look, I, I don’t wanna stop going out till three in the morning at the clubs. I don’t wanna stop drinking alcohol. I don’t wanna. Just taking energy drinks all day long and burning myself out.

I don’t wanna stop going to in and out in burger I’d ra. I’d rather just take t r t shots and then I can just continue doing what I’m doing. But you’re not gonna get the full benefits of hormone replacement if you’re on this crappy diet. If you have mineral depletions or imbalances and you’re not sleeping well, no.

Nothing will replace the benefits of sleep. There’s no hormone you can take that’s going to restore back the benefits that you get from sleep. It’s just not gonna

[00:23:07] Dr Mike T Nelson: happen. Yeah. The sleep thing is interesting. I’ve done heart rate variability analysis on, oh God, probably thousands of people at this point over to coming up on 11 years.

And I’ve got a little intake form on the bottom where it’s just, self-report. They report energy, sleep, diet, nutrition, and you do enough work with people, you’ll find like complete outliers. Like I worked with two of the. Collegian female runners many years ago and I got their diet logs and I thought their coach was trying to prank me.

I’m like, there’s no way these people are reading this. They’re like, yep. And they ran very fast. Again, who knows about health and longevity, et cetera, things, right? So you did enough stuff, you’ll find complete outliers. But the one thing I haven’t found, with the exception of one person who I think was a genetic mutant, like literally a duct two mutant was sleep.

Yeah. Like I haven’t found hardly any people where when they got a chance to get more sleep, they did better. Now you’ll find people who report that, oh man, I’m okay on six hours. But yeah, you do any amount of testing on ’em and that completely falls apart. Yeah. My buddies sort sleep researchers that often joke.

They bring him into the lab, they have him do a dark room and do a boring task, and he is yeah, they all fall asleep within 10 minutes. . Yeah. Yeah. So I agree with sleep and it’s hard because the whole society appears to be pushing people just to be busier or do more, don’t worry about the acute cost.

Like whatever you need to do now to get things done appears to be war Society is pushing people, like the amount of students I know now who are using Adderall and all sorts of stuff,

[00:24:48] Mike Mahler: people badge to honor too. You have someone like Jocko who I like Jocko, but Jocko’s yeah, I only sleep four hours.

He always takes a picture of his hairy arm at three in the morning and it’s he’s a muan. He’s a badass. Guys be quiet. He’s a badass dude, but he looks worn out. Let’s be honest. He’s got deep wrinkles everywhere. He looks worn out, and as Martin large part of that is because he’s a, he works his ass off.

He pushes him really hard on multiple fronts and. He doesn’t sleep at all. The harder you work, the more sleep you actually need. Hold on a second.

[00:25:21] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, no worries. , they just want to be on camera. . Yeah,

[00:25:25] Mike Mahler: exactly. Rayna is the only time you ever bark is what? When I’m doing a show and then of course the torture person has to come and drop off stuff right in the middle.

Oh, that always happens. They have to ring the doorbell. They have to keep bringing it to make sure that you actually heard it. Of course, yeah. The sleep thing is, I think everyone tries to, people always want to cut out. People will always reduce sleep before they do anything else. They don’t want to cut back on four hours of Netflix.

They don’t want to cut back on wasting eight hours on your phone. They don’t wanna cut back on garbage food, but they will deprive themselves of sleep thinking that’s not that important. It’s oh, you’ll sleep when you’re dead. We hear that stupid stuff like that all the time. It’s you’re gonna be dead a lot sooner , if you’re gonna get to that phase a lot sooner.

I guarantee if we look at people that are making over a hundred years old, like some of the common things they did to get to that point, I guarantee you that sleep quality is one of those things. It may not be eight hours every night, but I guarantee you it’s not less than six hours. And the quality’s probably really good because six hours of quality sleep is more important than eight hours where you’re just tossing and turning.

And it’s funny because ufc, Matt Bra, I put up a post recently on Instagram talking about how a lot of these biohackers are quacks and you can tell that someone’s a, when they. when they overemphasize the benefits of saunas and red light therapy. , those are the two common red flags. And I’m not saying that either one are useful, I’m just saying that the benefits that are often associated are extremely exaggerated to say the least.

Sauna, for example, has some health benefits. But I think one of the main benefits of a sauna is it just helps you relax. If it’s something you enjoy doing, that’s good enough reason to do it. And if it’s something that helps you relax, that’s gonna improve your quality of sleep. And that’s where the real benefits lie.

And when people talk about, oh yeah, I use a sauna to detox, it’s toxins aren’t excreted through your skin. Could you imagine if we had a bunch of toxins coming through our skin? You’d have to wipe it off immediately, otherwise you would be in trouble. Our liver is what detox. Toxins.

That’s what gets rid of toxins. You wanna make your liver as healthy as possible, not use a sauna to induce sweating, to detox. So saunas and then the notion of, oh, sauna increases testosterone and increases growth hormone, even if it does either one of those things. How long does it last? It doesn’t last long enough to be useful.

Just like when people talk about it. Here’s a workout you should do to increase growth hormone testosterone. Okay, that’s great. You got this nice little increase in. But it’s not gonna last longer than an hour. And that’s not long enough to have any real benefit. It doesn’t mean, what it is though, is a sign of a good workout.

Because if you work out hard, instead of cortisol going through the roof, your testosterone and growth hormone went up. So you’re leaving a workout with increased testosterone and growth hormone. That’s a good thing. That’s a really good thing in and of itself. It’s not useful beyond that though, because it doesn’t last long enough to be useful.

And then, and same thing with red light therapy. People tip oh put red light therapy on your testicles, and that’ll increase your testosterone. Number one, Noah won’t. And number two, don’t you feel silly putting red light on your testicles, , okay let’s start there. Don’t you feel stupid doing that?

There’s the reason why you feel stupid is because it doesn’t work. And I see so many people in our industry that are very well respected that propagate this nonsense. And that’s what it is. It’s nonsense. Buying these red light panels, which often cost a thousand dollars with the illusion that you’re gonna increase your growth hormone and testosterone, that should not be the reason why you buy it.

Now there may be some other benefits such maybe it improves workout recovery a little bit. Who knows? Maybe it improves skin elasticity. Who knows? We don’t know for sure if it does any of those things. Maybe you do it and you just find it relaxing. Like you lie in front of a red light panel and you find it relaxing.

It helps you doze off. You get into a relaxed state. If that’s the case, that’s a good enough reason to use it. Anything that helps you relax and unwind, whether it’s a sauna or red light therapy or a coal plunging, whatever it is, that’s a good enough reason. If it’s something you enjoy and it actually makes you feel better, but let’s not add all these unnecessary possible benefits to it, which are totally outlandish and have never been substantiated.


[00:29:17] Dr Mike T Nelson: I tend to agree. The basic stuff we know works, right? The basic things are gonna have like by far and away the biggest effect size. And I have a whole course where I do use sauna. But again, it’s for a specific purpose. Once your exercise is good, once your nutrition is good, and once your sleep is decent it’s something you can consider adding on to the top.

Again, the effect size a lot smaller, and if you’ve ever looked, I’m sure you’ve read the study, is that they did on the growth hormone release with the sauna, it’s a freaking brutal protocol in the sauna. Multiple. I think it was like two or three times you had to go out, come back in. Yeah. It was a really high temperature.

It was very short term studies. Granted, there’s eight studies from Finland that, that have shown that. But like you said, if you look at then what is the effect of it, right? So people think, oh, it’s gonna be increasing muscle mass or increased fat loss. Dr. Dan West from St. Phillips lab did the classic study on that, looking at responses to exercise.

Long story short, they exercised their right arm under a high anabolic condition from exercise. Their left arm, they did it. No difference in size, no difference in strength between one arm versus the other arm. So yes, you do see these big spikes, but they’re super short-lived and it comes back down to baseline right away and they don’t tend to do anything.

And yeah, same with the red light. I have one, one here. I like it. I bought it as more of an experiment just to see what the effects were. I think it’s useful, but the effects I would say are relatively small. If I were to gauge it. Yeah. Single digits. And what I’ve noticed in the summer when I’m outside more, cause I live in the frigging arctic in Minnesota.

Yeah. I don’t see the benefit seems to disappear. Nice. So again, maybe it’s something I can probably get from sunlight in the summer. I don’t use it that much in the winter, eh, I use it a little bit more, but. Again, I’m not putting it on my nutsack because I read a single rat study assuming that this is gonna fix all my ails, either


[00:31:13] Mike Mahler: I always look at it this way. What is, what are the things that provide the most bang for your buck? Whether it’s working out, whether it’s your business, whether it’s improving your hormonal profile, and when it comes to your overall health, you’re not gonna be a high quality diet. And lots of daily activity as well as restoration, which includes deep quality sleep.

If you do those three things, that’s gonna have a big impact on everything else. While a lot of these other things are not gonna have a big impact on those three things. So I think the mistake a lot of people make in our industry is because we work out intensely, we think we don’t have to do anything else.

We can just sit around in between workouts. And my attitude is you’re not gonna get the full benefits of daily activity from doing that. So I work out intensely with weights four times a week, but I walk my dogs two hours a day, seven days a week, and I find that just the walking two hours a day, so it’s well over 10,000 steps every single day.

Without fail, I actually have to make sure I eat enough each day, otherwise I start losing too much weight. So I think sometimes we complicate these things. If the average person doesn’t need to hire a trainer or even join a gym if they to get started, all they need to do is go for a walk every single day.

Maybe you start with 30 minutes, maybe that’s all you can do. You work up to an hour, get it up to two hours, seven days a week. And I promise you it’ll have a huge impact, not just on your physique composition, but your mood, your overall health. Your insulin sensitivity is gonna improve, your blood pressure is gonna improve, and then you clean up your diet.

In the diet. You don’t have to be overly pedantic either. Focus on real food. When in doubt, focus on real food. Avoid all the processed stuff, regardless of what your dietary preference is, whether you’re a meat eater or a vegan. Focus on real food, the highest quality you can afford. And then make sure that you dial in sleep.

Do relaxation strategies such as meditation. Have a hot shower in the evening, go for a short walk, whatever it is to help clear up the cobwebs in your mind. So that, or the noise in your mind rather so that you go into, when you get in bed, you’re basically in this relaxed state and you can fall asleep quickly.

[00:33:12] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, I think it’s nice to see walking is becoming quote unquote more popular. And again, I’m biased because I’m helping with the book on it, but I remember John Barardi saying this years ago. He’s you see a lot of people what they post on Instagram and what they’re doing for fitness and if you look at their daily activity level nothing.

Huge spike. Nothing. It’s yeah, it’s better than not training, but you’d still need like low level movement during the day. That’s just how the human body is designed. And I’ve just noticed, minimum of five to 8,000 steps per day makes a huge difference. And obviously you can go above that, but for a lot of people, when I, years ago I started sticking pedometers on people before watches would measure it and.

I did it on myself, and it was, you weigh, it’s just like vegetables, right? You weigh overestimate how much movement you get during the day without at least some self calibration to see where you’re at, right? I thought my steps would’ve been easily 4,000 a day. And unfortunately they were barely 3000 when I was working at home, and so then you realize, oh, maybe I should get up in the morning and go for an actual walk, right? Oh, I feel better. Oh, maybe I should have a walk in the evening. Oh, I feel better. And like you said, oh, my sleep is better, my recovery’s better, training’s better. Oh, okay. So it is worthwhile. Go figure

[00:34:29] Mike Mahler: You’ll appreciate this example. Howard Jones, lead singer of Kill Switch, engage, or used to be the lead singer. Love Howard, kill Switch, engage one of the best vocalists out there. He has his own band, LA The Torch. That’s awesome. Yes, he has a bunch of other projects, but. Howard Jones used to be fairly overweight.

He wasn’t super obese, but he was pretty hefty guy. And then all of a sudden Life, the Torch came out with a new video. And who’s this new lead singer for Life? The Torch. It was Howard Jones. He had just lost a ton of weight. Now I remember listening to an episode of him on the Jasta Show, and they were, he was asking him about, it’s oh, when, what kind of training regimen are you on now?

What’s your dial like? He goes didn’t change my diet at all. I just started walking several hours a day. That’s all he does every day. He walks, but he walks a lot. We’re talking three, four hours every single day. He just loves walking. And he’s a guy who deals with lifelong depression and he found it work really well for his mental health.

But that’s all he does is walking. He didn’t do any, he didn’t do CrossFit or any kind of specialized weight training regimen. He didn’t hire an expensive trainer or start doing high intensity interval training five times a week. No. He just went for a long walks every single day, and that weight came right off.

I think people underestimate walking, but the thing is, you have to do a lot more than, let’s say 20, 30 minutes. That’s nothing. Yeah. 20, 30 minutes. That, that’s a good start, but you’re not gonna notice any physi composition benefits unless you’re really obese just doing 30 minutes a day, but you start doing two hours a day.

I noticed all of a sudden, the AB started popping out more and I wasn’t changing my diet at all. If anything, I’m eating more because of the activity. The daily activity level’s so much higher. And that’s the other thing too, is that I used to come from that mantra of if you can’t outrun a donut, and diet is more important than training when it comes to physi composition.

I used to repeat that mantra just like everybody else, but I have a much different take on it now. I feel that if you take your daily activity to a very high degree, two hours of walking or two hours of whatever, playing tennis or playing basketball, skateboarding, playing with your dogs, playing with your kids, but you’re doing hours of activity every single day, I think you can actually loosen up your diet quite a bit without any negative.

I’m not saying that you should just eat junk food and eat whatever you want. I’m just saying you, you want, you don’t have to be as pedantic with your nutrition when your activity level is at a really high.

[00:36:37] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, I noticed that we usually go down to South Padre every spring and fall and go kite boarding.

And if it’s nice I’ll go ride for three hours in a row. Yeah. And it’s not that difficult, but it’s an energy output and you have to, pay attention and everything else. And people always laugh. They’re like you’re in the nutrition guy. You’re drinking a beer, eating Pop Tarts after kiteboarding.

I’m like, dude, I just rode like three hours. Like I’m gonna go have a normal meal after I had a normalish meal before. I don’t worry about it. And I come back home and I usually lose. Two to four pounds and then, training is not any different. If anything else, I’m doing less weight training than normally what I do at home.

But, go for a walk on the beach in the morning, do a short run. It’s just my activity level is just so much higher than it, it generally is at home and, shocker, physics still works.

[00:37:24] Mike Mahler: Yeah, when I go on vacation I don’t even never use the gym at the hotel. I don’t care about weight training.

I don’t bring stuff with me such as resistance bands and all. I would only be concerned about that if it’s maybe a vacation longer than a month. But if it’s, let’s say two weeks or so, just be active each day. Go surfing, go hiking, go exploring, go have a good time, relax, get as much sleep in, take it now.

Your body will be totally rejuvenated and you’ll get so much more outta your training when you get home. I know people that are so addicted to training that they can’t go, they can’t even go for a weekend getaway , without using the hotel gym or breaking some equipment with them. I go, relax, and you hear all this idiotic advice, searches.

I haven’t missed a workout in 20 years. It’s you’re number one for two. That’s, you’re missing out because I’m telling you. Take a week off from training here every now and then that has traumatic benefits for training for your progress. I think that’s why it’s good. I’ve always been someone who focused on performance.

I don’t care. I’ve never done body building type training. I’ve never been overly fixated on physique composition. What my body looks like is a side effect of training for performance. So whether it’s more reps, more weight, better endurance, it’s some barometer of performance that I’m always looking at.

And I think as a result of that, you are more honest with yourself. You’re not addicted to the stimulus that working out, if it’s not serving you is where I’m going. So if I’m pushing myself hard and I’m getting weaker, I’m not gonna just keep going. I’m gonna realize, okay, there’s something wrong here. I need to refocus, recalibrate.

So I get back on that performance. So I think if when you’re someone who just works out for the sake of working out, you just want the stimulus of working out that can be to your own demise because now you’re focused on. , just the stimulus of training, not progress. It’s almost as if progress doesn’t matter.

It’s almost as if someone who plays a slot machine where a slot machine is not about winning or losing, it’s about the dopamine rush you get when you play. So that’s why people become addicted now. If they just won every single time, it’d probably be boring to them. But it’s the randomness and everything that goes with it, the anticipation, the lights, the sounds, all of that stuff.

That’s what makes it really addictive. And sometimes people are similar. Sometimes people take that concept and apply it to their own training, where now just the stimulus of working out is the payoff. And I think that’s a mistake. You wanna focus on what is, what’s the performance they’re trying to achieve?

[00:39:46] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, I even knew that with some, I’ve worked with only a handful of fizzy clients and even the average person who wants to lose weight look better. Like the first thing I do is like translate to their. Aesthetic goals into performance goals. And if you’ve done it long enough you have a pretty damn good idea.

Like even, the handful of natural bodybuilders I’ve worked with, I the super high level of gals and girls, and then I can’t think of an exception of one of ’em who was not pretty freaking strong. Were they as strong as power lifters? Is there some Olympic weightlifters? Eh, not really. But compared to the, average gym population, like substantially stronger.

And, but that’s the thing. You can monitor and measure. And like you said, if you see performance just trending down for several days, weeks, months, then you really think your physiques gonna get better. Yeah, probably not. Like you’re probably over expended your bank account again, and you should look at what’s going on.

[00:40:42] Mike Mahler: Steve Maxwell likes to use pull-ups as a barometer of progress. So for example, let’s say you have a client who’s 30, 40 pounds overweight and he can’t do one pull-up. Five, six months later, let’s fast forward. All of a sudden he can do 10 pullups. Chances are his body fat has gone down considerably.

Is in addition to his strength going up. Chance Azar wasn’t just an increase in strength where he is carrying the same around amount of body fat. He’s just able, he’s just a lot stronger now. He’s probably a combination of both. Body fat probably went down. His strength went up. Yeah. Yeah,

[00:41:13] Dr Mike T Nelson: I like that.

What is your thoughts, I know you do some skateboarding, obviously you’ve done snowboarding, you’re generally pretty active. What is your thoughts about recreation for the average person? My bias is I think sometimes we get too hyper focused on fitness and as much as I love lifting stuff, it’s super fun.

It just seems like we’re not accessing part of our brains that we’re designed to, like just the amount of neural circuits that go into just simply catching a ball, playing Frisbee, doing a chaotic sport, surfing, skateboarding, like interacting in a semi unknown environment is just crazy. And it seems like a lot of people are just becoming like lifting sea slugs where they’re certain parts of their brain are just atrophied.

[00:42:02] Mike Mahler: Yeah, I’m a big fan of recreation. It’s funny you bring that up because I remember there were times where it would be a Sunday and I’d be like, Hey, I’m gonna go to Red Rock tomorrow. My dogs go hiking all day. You wanna come with me? And a lot of times my gym rat friends would say, nah, I got leg day tomorrow, , I gotta take it easy.

I was like, man, you can’t even go active. So it’s almost as if sometimes that people’s intense workouts are impeding activity because now they’re hyper focused on, oh, I need to relax as much as possible in between workouts, otherwise I’m not gonna maximize muscle growth and strength. And I think that’s where.

Focus on physical training is to your detriment, rather, it is not additive at that point. I think the real benefit of physical training is that it enables you to be more active. So for example, I do love skateboarding, but what I have found is my body is way more resilient from all the weight training I do.

Meaning I’ve had some pretty bad crashes where I’ve gone flying off my board and basically landed in the plank position in the grass, that full impact. And guess what? I didn’t break anything. I didn’t break a bone, I didn’t twist an ankle, nothing. I got up and I’m almost 50. I got up from that. A lot of guys that are close to 50 or older they worry about tripping over something thinking man, if I fall down, I’m gonna blow out my hip.

And I think what’s the benefit of a good dedication to a physique or to a strength training regimen is that it does make your body more resilient so that you can do those fun things and not have, and have a level of protection that you wouldn’t otherwise have. But I think that it’s that’s also be honest.

Weight training is. To me, a gym is not a, an exciting environment to be in. When I go to a gym, I want to hit my three, four moves and I wanna get out of there. I know people that just hang out in the gym for hours. They’re there before I get there. They’re there afterwards. And to them, it’s basically, it’s more of a social thing than it is anything else.

They’re just kicking. They’re just, and that’s okay. I’m not, if that makes you happy, by all means go for it. I’m not diminishing that in any way or denigrating that rather in any way. That’s, if that, if you’re, whatever payoff you’re getting from it, that’s fine. But attitude is. I want to be really expedient when it comes to strength training because as much as I enjoy training, I don’t enjoy it that much.

Where I just wanna keep going on and on. In fact, basically I’m pretty tired after I hit my three or four moves. I push it hard on three, four compound moves. I’m ready to get out of there. Now, contrast that with skateboarding. I could go skateboarding for the whole day, especially on a nice day. I could go in the morning and not even realize it’s the sun’s going down because it’s so much fun.

You’re just out there. So when you’re doing something that’s really fun, you’re not, it. It doesn’t feel like work to me. Weight training is work. I enjoy it, but it’s work. It’s not something where I’m like, oh, I can’t wait to do heavy S squats today. It was like, oh, I can’t wait to do heavy deadlifts, . But yeah, I like the payoff that comes with accomplishing a goal, but it’s not something that I would want to do.

I wouldn’t wanna do an hour of heavy deadlifting, let’s put it that way. But doing an hour of skateboarding is easy. Going for a hike for an hour easy. So I do think that people should, that the real benefits of physical training is that. You’re in much healthier and you’re in better shape so that you can get a lot more out of the activities you enjoy.

[00:45:03] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, that’s my bias too. My number one thing is just kiteboarding. So most of my training is designed around kiteboarding. Yeah. I do some grip stuff and some other things, but Right. If I’m in a location where I can kiteboard and it’s windy I’m gonna go kite board and if that means I miss a training day, cool.

I’m totally fine with it. That’s actually preferable. And like you said, with controlled environments, I think if people figure out what their priorities are, like, I have friends who compete in Olympic weightlifting and power lifting. They’re the inverse. Like they can’t accept a risk doing something else because they’re also, nationally ranked.

And that’s the thing they do. Totally get it. . But for me, the gym is a much more controlled environment, so my tolerance for risk and injuries is pretty low. Compared to, if I’m kit boarding, the reality is at some point you try to do everything you can to protect yourself, but some shit’s gonna go wrong and there’s a much higher risk there that you could damage yourself.

And I’m okay with that, right? Because I’ve said, okay, this is my priority, this is what I wanna do. I do everything I can to mitigate the risk, but I chose to do it. So I have to accept the risk also where it seems like general population isn’t necessarily thinking about the things that they want to do and the things that, weight training, cardiovascular training could enable them to do more of in the future.

And paradoxically that makes them healthier. It just seems like it’s reversed where it’s like you just gotta lift weights, you gotta do some cardio. And I think they lose kind of motivation to do

[00:46:33] Mike Mahler: that after a while. Yeah. I think the mistake a lot of people make is they are focused on avoiding what they don’t want as their primary motivation.

So it’s I gotta get my workouts in and I gotta eat clean, otherwise I’m gonna be overweight. I’m not gonna look good. So it’s in a it’s a motivation of avoidance rather than a motivation of going after something in a positive manner. So I wanna get my workouts in because I enjoy being strong and I like accomplishing things.

So it’s positive motivation. It’s not, okay, I gotta get my workouts in, otherwise I’m gonna become weak and I’m gonna lose muscle, and I’m not gonna be as respected by people when they see me because my shoulders are gonna be sunken in th those are all negative reinforcements. I’d rather focus on positive reinforcements.

And when it comes to training, also, I think what keeps me excited is developing new skills. Yeah. So for example, I hit a PR in the deadlift back in 2020 and I pulled up 6 0 5. That was the most I’ve ever lifted. Nice. That’s awesome. After I pulled that, I’m thinking Thank you. After I pulled that, Initially I’m thinking I should go for 700 pounds now, And then I started thinking, I was like, look, I’m not a competitive power lifter. And pulling the 6 0 5 was really hard on my body, meaning that I was able to achieve it, but I felt like I was gonna break in half after doing it. So the risk versus reward is becoming increasingly unfavorable, the heavier the weight gets, especially at my body weight, I’m only around 200 pounds, so I would’ve to, I would’ve to either increase my body weight by quite a bit or.

Except very high risk versus reward conditions, and I, neither one seemed favorable to me, so now I still deadlift, but I don’t have the pressure on the deadlift when I do it now cuz I’m not pursuing anything. So in essence, I actually enjoy deadlifting a lot more now because I’m just focused on technique.

I’m focused on doing the movement. I think it’s a great movement to stay in your regimen. I’d rather be able to deadlift four or 500 pounds for the next 20, 30 years than work up to 700 pounds once. But now my body’s still beaten down. I can’t even deadlift anymore. I can’t even do 1 35 at that point.

But I like developing new skills. So right now, being able to do Nordic curls is my primary focus. Nice. I’ve had this Nordic curl device forever and I never really focused on working up to reps. So let towards the end of last year, I decided, okay, my goal now Isabelle, to do five. Full range repetitions of Nordic rolls.

That’s what I’m gonna focus on. So the first goal is doing one repetition. And before even doing that, the first goal is can you control the negative? Because I couldn’t even do that. I’m just flopping down. You look at most people, they just flop down and then they do a pushup off the bottom , and that’s not really gonna get you anywhere.

So I realized the first thing I need to do is learn how to control the negative. Now just being able to control the negative for five reps, that builds a ton of hamstring strength and glute strength. Just being able to do that. It also builds confidence because when you go from flopping to controlling the negative, that’s a step in the right di direction, that’s a progression.

And then you start working on partials. You just I stack plates at the end of the Nord curl device. So that now my range of motion is limited. So instead of having to go all the way down here, I’m a little bit higher up. And I don’t have to, the range of motion is not as pronounced. So that’s one way to build upon success rather than trying to do a full range, trying to do a full rep and then failing.

Okay, let’s try it again next time failing. Try it again next time. Failing are, you barely do one repetition that’s not gonna get you from one or from zero to five. But building, being able to do five negatives, that’s a big step in the right direction. And then let’s say you, you do, you stack a bunch of plates and now you’re decreasing the range of motion by four inches.

And you work up to five repetitions in that range. That’s a step in the right direction. Now you go to two inches and you do five reps there, and then you eventually get to the point where you can do full range. So I didn’t work up to one full range route, but it was a maximal. So I’m not gonna go from one to five just by doing lots of singles,

It’s just too much of a simple nervous system burnout, and it’s not fun either. You don’t wanna go into a workout realizing you’re gonna have to put that level of effort in it every single time. But the partials are real confidence builder. So what I do now is when I do Nord crawls, I stack a bunch of plates for my warmup sets and I, and then I just lower, and then I remove the plates and get to the money sets over the course of a workout.

And that is, has actually been working really well. But the thing about Nordic kros, it’s not so much that there’s anything special about Nordic Kros other than it’s special to me. It gets me excited about training. Someone else may say oh yeah, that looks cool. I should do that too. But that’s not a compelling enough reason.

This is a very difficult move. If you don’t have your own internal motivation for wanting to do it, you’re not gonna last long enough to achieve it. So it can’t be, oh, I saw someone else do it, and that looks exciting. It has to be more than that. But that’s what keeps me excited about training, is learning new skill sets rather than just trying to get better at stuff that I’m already pretty good at.

[00:51:19] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. And I think that’s an underrated thing for trainers. But you talk to anyone who’s been training for years, to decades, that’s like all they focus on, it’s like I, I do kite board and I do some grip stuff and my goal is to lift, the 1 75 Thomas inch dumbbell. That’s awesome.

So I have this big ass dumbbell I have to stare at every day. I go into the garage , and it’s this weird, just tiny progressions over time, right? Because by definition your rip muscles are a little bit smaller. They’re not gonna develop as fast. You add intelligent training for a couple years, you add that on top of each other.

And like you said, it’s the game of, my buddy Adam Glass said this. Where can I move next? Today may be sub max, but I can do reps that feels, They may be an awesome day. I got a single that I’ve never lifted the weight before at that. Cool. Next day may be a density. I could cram more work into the quality, keep it the same.

Like you said, I may play with range of motion, and it’s just this never ending progression. But I think the mistake people make is trying to do the thing that’s sexy of just keep doing water rems all the time. It’s eh, that works when you’re new, but after a while, like you, you, even if you attempt that, like your performance just goes off

[00:52:30] Mike Mahler: managing.

Yeah. Yeah. It’s

[00:52:32] Dr Mike T Nelson: true. Yeah. And finding those days where it’s there and it’s not there and not forcing it.

[00:52:37] Mike Mahler: Yeah, exactly. I always say that what many people do is they demonstrate strength every time they train. They’re not developing strength because they go to the gym and every time they go, it’s a maximum effort or what they perceive as their maximum effort, but that’s not gonna be additive over time.

That high intensity type training that works for maybe a couple weeks. And then your body just burns out and you adapt, and that’s the end of it. So that’s the thing about one set to failure, that’ll work for, I would say, up to six weeks whenever someone tries it for the first time they think they finally reached this magic program, this is the way I always should have trained.

I always should have been doing this. What was I doing? Wasting time with all that volume because you’re getting stronger every week for a while, but then eventually you hit a plateau and there’s nowhere to go because you’re doing a maximum effort every time. There’s only where do you go beyond a maximum every single time.

And then also it becomes a daunting task. You go into those training sessions dreading it going, oh, I have to do this today. It’s a good change of pace. Every once in a while I’ll do the one set to failure. And it’s, and it is exciting when it ha, when you’re going through it, when you’re making progress.

I know in the back of my head, this is not gonna go on forever. So just enjoy it while it lasts. And then you’re gonna have to dial back the intensity at some point. But knowing that going in it’s not as big of a deal. But I think that’s thes. , I think with your grip strength though, do you do captains of Crunch stuff like that to increase your grip strength for holding or for picking up the Thomas inch dumbbell?

[00:53:57] Dr Mike T Nelson: No, I competed in some grip stuff and when I did that you had to do gripper, so I did train ’em a little bit. But what I found, I’ve talked to other people too. Those have like probably the lowest transfer. Okay. Because it’s so hyper specialized in the hand. So I’ve had much better transfer with the two things that transfer the most are shocker double overhand, two inch axle.

So similar grip, but it’s a deadlift, so you can get a lot of load. You’re gonna be limited by grip strength. And the other one is Saxon bar. So it looks like a metal two by six. You can add weight to it. So now you’re in a pinch grip like this with your open hands and you can also then tilt it.

So the amount of wrist strength to keep it tilted with an open hand. And a thumb strength. And again, it’s a deadlift, right? So your max there is gonna be well below what your normal deadlift is. So your pin strength is gonna be a limiter. Like those are the ones I’ve found that have had the biggest transfer.

So again, it’s back to similar principles, what transfers and if it transfers well, what movement can you probably get the highest relative load on? Because you’re gonna see more transfer than, lot of grip weirdos. If you like doing key pinch and all this little tiny stuff, cool. Go crazy man.

But do I really think like this little thing is gonna transfer to, like an axle or something else? They’re just too different. Yeah.

[00:55:19] Mike Mahler: That’s a really interesting, that’s what I’ve noticed. I’ve always found that nothing really transfers to other things for me. Meaning that if I get really good at kettlebell overhead presses, but I never do barbell overhead presses, I’m gonna be weak on the barbell overhead press and vice versa.

So if I do these grippers now just to build up that crushing strength. Sure. And initially I thought, oh, this will improve my deadlift, but not really, because deadlifting is more holding grip strength. Yep. Not crushing grip strength. In other words, me crushing the bar is unnecessary. That’s a waste of energy me over gripping the bar.

In some ways it can be counterproductive because you’ve improved your squeezing grip strength, but you only need so much squeezing grip strength when you’re doing a deadlift. Otherwise you’re just overdoing it. That actually takes away from it. So you I’ve always found that I get good at whatever I’m doing.

So if I’m doing the grippers, I’m gonna get good at that, but it’s not necessarily gonna carry over to anything else if I get good at deficit deadlifts. That should improve my deadlift off the floor. But in my experience it never has. I did two inch and four inch deficit deadlifts for almost a year. One time I didn’t do any deadlifts off the floor and I worked out to some pretty good numbers close to where what I can actually deadlift off the floor.

And then I thought, you know what? Today I’m gonna try deadlifts off the floor. Let’s see how much carryover there is. I was actually a weaker off the floor because the groove mechanics are totally different. I got really good at a legs drive cuz the legs drive is way more pronounced with the deficit deadlift.

So my nervous system learned how to maximize that. But now what I’m, now that I’m deadlifting off the floor, it almost feels like a partial. Cause different mechanics and it took a while to get back in the groove for off the floor. So my experience has always been, there aren’t any real magical transfers between the magical transfer.

It has to be very similar to the move you’re trying to. If it’s, even if it’s once, it starts getting a little bit too different, there’s really no transfer. I mean something like lap pulldowns for example. Has anyone ever done lap pulldowns and improved their pull-up numbers? No. Really? Really Just get really strong on lap pulldowns and my pull-ups will go up by default.

No, you can think there’s more transfer from pull-ups to lap pull downs than from lap pulldowns to pull-ups. But even there, I know some people that are really good at pullups that like weighted pullups and their lot pull down numbers are nothing impressive. And I know I’ve seen people do lab pulldowns with 300 pounds.

When I went to the College of Wooster in Ohio in the 1990s, I remember during one of the breaks I worked out at one of the local gyms was this was the first time I ever was in a power lifting body builder type gym. And the strongest men and women I’ve ever seen were in that gym is the first time I ever saw a guys benching 500 pounds.

Like it was nothing squatting 600 pounds. There were women in there ripping out with 2 25. I was the weakest person in there by far. And. I was shocked by what I saw in there because it was it was so rudimentary compared to what we see in commercial gyms, . It wasn’t, it was just rusted equipment everywhere.

But because there weren’t a lot of distractions in all that, people were getting a lot stronger in an environment like that. And that’s what made me realize that we have way too much complexity in a lot of the things we do here. But at the same time, I’ve seen people that are really good at power lifting squats.

But let’s say they try to do an Olympic level type squat where it’s, Basically asked to grasp. Yeah. They’re not strong in that. A lot of times they can’t even do it. They don’t have the mobility to do it. And also there’s people that are really good at Olympic lifting. Like when someone does a power clean or even a full clean, the way they really load up the legs in a much more pronounced way than when someone does a deadlift for the most part.

So if you were looking at that, you would think, huh, I should deadlift the way someone does a power clean. I’ll load up my legs more. But that’s a very precise technique to Olympic weightlifting that doesn’t transfer over to deadlifting as much. Otherwise, every dead lifter would use the same exact technique.

So sometimes you fly, you’ve, I’ve seen people that can power clean 500 pounds, but their deadlift is not that, it’s way more than 500 pounds their deadlift, but it’s not 800 pounds. It’s not even 700 pounds because the technique is just that much different with

[00:59:15] Dr Mike T Nelson: it. Yeah. Said principle always works.

Specific adaptation to impose demand. And that was probably one of the biggest mistakes I made with. My deadlift early on was, all the videos I was watching was from primarily people who were deadlifting, but at the time I didn’t know that their main goal was Olympic weightlifting . I was watching films of them deadlifting.

And so I played around with all different deadlifts things, and it worked right. I got stronger. And it wasn’t until I, worked with a guy who was more power lifting who was like, what are you doing? I’m like, he’s a deadlift, right? And then you realize that, oh yeah, if you’re power lifting and your goal is only need to deadlift , you just have to get the bar up, right?

You don’t have to be in any other position to do anything with it. But if you’re Olympic weightlifting, you can’t just go back more. You have to go up because you have to finish the movement you’re trying to do. So again, they’re both deadlifts, but again, for what purpose and even just your intent of doing it is gonna be completely different then too.

Yeah. And

[01:00:15] Mike Mahler: then how tall are you,


[01:00:17] Dr Mike T Nelson: Oh, I have stupid long femurs. I’m like six, three and a

[01:00:19] Mike Mahler: half. Okay, so you’re a really tall guy. So I think the, sometimes I’m six feet tall, so sometimes these guys like us, can make, especially you, is we’re looking at dead lift deadlift technique from a guy who’s five foot five.

Yeah, I did that too. Manipulate that. It’s gonna be different, are gonna be a lot different than someone does that by Mark Phillipe taught me a lot about how to deadlift properly. Nice. But Mark Phillipe is about 5 10, 5 11 and he’s stocky. Big legs where I’m more of a very long-legged guy. Now my legs are the hardest muscle group for me to develop any real size width.

I can develop strength, but getting my legs bigger is a daunting task as opposed to my upper body. So I picked up a lot of good deadlifting techniques from him, but what I realized is that what he does, he looks like he’s in the bottom position of a parallel squat. Yes. At the start of the deadlift. So he really loads up his legs.

Now if I tried doing that, that just takes me out of the pocket. It’s too much. I need to do maybe 70% of what he’s doing. So I should drop my hips lower than I was doing, but not try to drop it as low as what he’s doing because it’s different mechanics for our body types. So I picked up a lot of principles from him, but it wasn’t until I fine tuned it with practice that I really got a lot out of it.

But what I really got from him was this whole dip and drive mechanism where you drop your hips and pull the. As quickly as possible so that you don’t want to drop your hips and then stay in that bottom position for five seconds and then finally pull the bar there. Someone like Ed Cohen can do that.

But again, we’re talking about the best. We’re talking’s not, not, not real tall. The shorter guy. He’s the best power lifter in the world. Yeah. What he’s doing is not necessarily what’s gonna work for me. So what I found also, at the same time, I’m not the most coordinated guy. So if I try to, if I try to drop my hips as quickly as possible and then pull the bar as quickly as possible, there’s gonna be a disconnect.

So for me it’s more drop my hips once my hips are in the position I want them to be in. Once I feel it in that position, pull the bar. Don’t try to jerk the bar. Don’t try to explode. Just accelerate. Accelerate the bar all the way to the top, and that works for me. So that’s just a level of fine tuning that has to happen with your own workouts and other people is we’re not gonna be able to replicate what someone else is doing.

A hundred percent. We have to take principles and then modify it to our own needs.

[01:02:31] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. And the other biggest mistake I made is, Looking at a technique thinking, wow, that looks stupid. I shouldn’t try that. And it was from a very, high level lifter who was very successful. Obviously different body types, et cetera.

And so the biggest change I made in the last four years was bringing my feet closer in, but externally rotate. Like my heels are almost like three inches apart. Yeah. The first time I saw someone do that, I was like, what the hell is that? That looks so stupid, . And I tried it and I’m like, oh my God. I think I felt my hamstrings.

So the first time on a deadlift ever. And what I found is I can get my femurs out of the way and get the bar going more back. And not get pulled over forward as much.

[01:03:16] Mike Mahler: I know exactly what you’re talking about because I, my deadlift because you deadlift a

[01:03:19] Dr Mike T Nelson: little bit similar, not probably quite that extreme, but I don’t think I’m

[01:03:21] Mike Mahler: quite as close as stance as what you’re talking about, but it’s pretty close compared to most people.

Yeah, it’s definitely conventional feet turned out a little bit. I probably could benefit from closer stance that’s probably something I should play around with and most people think my stance is too close as it is, but I probably could benefit taking it even a little bit closer. But what I find is that if I even go out a little bit more, it becomes more of a back pull.

I can see that my back position starts going over as the bar pulls up. While if I have my feet in the right position, my back’s in this 45 degree angle and it stays there at, from the. As the bar keeps moving as opposed to I might be in a 45 degree angle, but once I pull the bar, I shift more down and then I come back up and that doesn’t feel anywhere near as good when I’m pulling with the back more than trying to get that legs drive.

If you can, like Mark Phillip, he said, if you have a really good legs drive, you’ll get the bar from floor to just below the knees in one swift motion. It’ll pop. He goes, when you do it right the bar feels like it’s popping off the ground. It almost feels like effortless as if you’re cheating. So the bar goes from the floor to right below the knees, and then you pull from there with your strength all the way to the top.

So that, that took a while to, and I don’t even now, I don’t always get it right on every single repetition, but when I do get it right, I know I got it right because it feels effort.

[01:04:40] Dr Mike T Nelson: And we’re almost at the end here. So the two parts is the other part. I’m talking about transfer. So my little experiment I’m doing now is taking the two inch axle and then doing mix grip.

So my grip’s not limiting on it and then I’m working the weights on that back up. And I’m curious to see if that’ll transfer to my normal deadlift with a one inch diameter. My thought pattern is it’s similar enough, but it’s almost like a worst case scenario cuz I’ve got a solid 75 pound axle bar that there’s no bend.

The thing doesn’t flex at all. So there’s no bend in it. Yeah. Yeah. And people forget the, with an axle it’s sticking further in front of you. So the bar is literally trying to pull you more forward, which is almost more like a worst case scenario, but it’s still a deadlift. It’s still the same high as the plates, it’s all.

Relatively similar, so I don’t know. I’ll let you know. In about four to six

[01:05:33] Mike Mahler: weeks what happens. Do you know a guy named Andrew Durney at

[01:05:36] Dr Mike T Nelson: Oh yeah, I know Andrew.

[01:05:37] Mike Mahler: Yeah. Yeah, so Andrew is, he’s around your height. I believe he’s six three, something like that. Yeah. And he deadlifted, he did the poon axle with over 400 pounds.

Yeah. Crazy. His grip strength is off the charts. The interesting thing though is that his maximum deadlift, just regular deadlift, alternating grip is maybe 600 pounds. So it’s not super high given how impressive his grip strength is, that’s the most he ever deadlift. So I, so it’s, I don’t know. I don’t know.

It’ll be interesting to see how it affects you. I don’t think it can hurt in any way. Anything, yeah, anything that, that’s a very specific grip strength for a deadlifting, so I don’t think it’s gonna hurt. It’s just one of those things where you don’t want your expectation to be too high , oh no. That’s why you get disappointed because sometimes I’ve done stuff where I’m like, oh man, I can’t wait to go back to this. I remember Christian Tipo talked about how he started doing overhead presses with the barbell and bands. And he worked up to a new PR with bands. So I think he had 200 pounds on the bar and then 50 pounds in band resistance.

And he was just banging out reps. And then he goes, man, I can’t wait to see how strong I am without the bands . And his numbers without the bands were exactly the same. He couldn’t lift anymore on the barbell that he could with the barbell and bands, cuz his body adapted to that. And after he told me that, cuz before he told me that I was doing a lot of deadlifts with those deadlift bands you can buy on Amazon.

.. So it’s basically the poor man’s version of adding bands resistance to deadlifts. And I was starting to get pretty good at those. I was like, man, I can’t wait to see how this transfers over to deadlifts. And after hear hearing him tell that story, I go, okay. Don’t get distracted with this. And it really didn’t improve my deadlift that much at all.

It did. It’s doing the chains. Improved my deadlift a little bit because I think more than anything else, it was a mental break from Oh, huge. Yeah. Lifting. Yeah. So I did chains for a couple weeks and then that was a couple weeks before I hit the pr. So I’m like, man, these chains really make a difference.

But I think the big difference was is that it felt different. So your body had to be a little bit more in tuned. Now you’re not used to the weight getting more difficult as it comes off the ground. You’re used to it getting easier as it comes off the ground. So here the first couple inches are the easiest part of the lift, and then it gets progressively more difficult.

So it does develop that one gear strain where you learn how to accelerate all the way through. But if you only do that now, you’re getting good at that acceleration. And the strength curve is different when you go back to a regular deadlift and you’re just gonna be out of the pocket.

[01:07:59] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. I think the same way, I think one of the main benefits of chains is, Literally you can lock out a heavier weight, most likely than you’ve ever done before.

Yeah. So it’s like you’re giving your brain that, oh, I actually did lock out a weight that’s, 20, 30, 40 pounds of max Yeah. Of what I’ve ever done before. And it’s a real thing. It is not a fake thing. You didn’t, talk your way into it. But again, if you only do that, I find that it’s limiting.

So I think doing it at strategic points so that you can finish a very heavy load. But like you said the pull is also different too, so you’re practicing different mechanics all the time also. So it’s, yeah. I found the transfer, I dunno, my limited experience chains worked good for a short period of time, but if they worked that all the time, you would see all the lifters lifting with.

Every session, which

[01:08:50] Mike Mahler: Yeah, you don’t see. Yeah. Wouldn’t the reason not to do it, you would just do it every single time. , why even bother not using chains Exactly. To get stronger with chains. What you said is a hundred percent my experience too, where I worked up to 525 pounds in the bar, 60 pounds of chains, and I did a couple reps with that.

And that built my confidence because as you said, now you know how close to 600 pounds at the top, you know how that feels. So when I did go to deadlift 600 pounds, even though it felt heavy off the ground, my confidence was you st. When it came off the ground, I knew I had the lift, even though it started slowing down as I got to the knees and then I screamed it out like a lunatic.

The finish . But the fact that the second it came off the ground, I knew I had to lift. I knew I had to lift. I just had to stay with it. And that confidence came from it being a famil, it felt familiar because the way I did with the chains is how it felt. So I’m a, yeah, I’m a hundred percent with you. It’s this one of those things where you think sometimes people’s expectations get a little too high with something.

They try something new and they get excited. They’re like, oh, man, once I get good at this, it’s look, I, once I work up to five Nordic curls, I don’t I no doubt that’s gonna improve other things, because anytime you improve hamstrings that much, it’s gonna carry over to sprinting and other things.

But if you never go sprinting and then you just work up to Nordic curls you haven’t worked on the mechanics of actually sprinting. So what, how are you gonna improve without actually doing something? So it’s the same thing. I don’t have any illusions or expectations of, okay, if I get really strong on Nordic curls, it’s gonna have this magical transfer of where my deadlift prs go up as well.

No, it just says, at least for me, things just don’t work like that.

[01:10:24] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. I did that with the dynamic effort stuff on deadlifts, and I’ve got a rack, I can run bands around the bottom, and it was great. That lift went up substantially. But did it transfer to my normal deadlift in my case? Actually, no.

What I found was sub max weight moved faster. My max load yeah. Was about the same . Yeah. Yeah. I was all excited too, on test. I was like, ah, three 15 was just so fast. Like 365 was, ah, this is great. And you get to 4 0 5, 4 15, you’re like, Yeah, it was about the same ,

[01:10:57] Mike Mahler: Remember when Paul Quinn was really propagating doing dumbbell presses on a Swiss ball?

Oh yeah. Yeah. Paul check too. Yeah, that was the new thing, Paul check as well. It’s man, I’m gonna, I remember I worked up to a hundred pound dumbbell presses on the Swiss ball, just repping it out. And I go, man, I can’t wait to see you. What the transfer is back to a regular bench. I was actually weaker on a bench.

It’s like my body adapted to doing the move on a Swiss ball there. There was no transfer back . It was actually a negative transfer back to off a bench. So it’s just one of those things where you don’t wanna get too distracted by these exciting things. The last thing I’ll say about this is, A lot of times on Instagram, we see people putting up these training clips of things they don’t even do in their own training.

Yeah. That’s not how they’re just doing this because they know it’s gonna get the most views. The stuff I post is not exciting. It’s me doing weighted pull-ups, deadlifts, the same moves week after week. It’s oh wow, here’s Mike doing Nordic curls again. How exciting. So other people feel like they have to step it up.

They go, okay, I’m gonna do Nordic curls with my cat on my head, , or I’m gonna , I’m gonna do Nordic curls where I have a milkshake with a straw in it at the bottom, and I’m gonna take a sip at the bottom of each rep. You start doing these ludicrous, ridiculous things because you’re gonna get more abuse.

Just look at the level of idiocy we see on Instagram from these fitness influencer type people, and I guarantee you when we, when they do their actual. They’re doing the basic moves that the rest of us do, because that’s what works. Nothing ever beats the basics. You’re never gonna get better than the compound lips that we all know work well, squats, dead lips, overhead, press dips, pull-ups, Ben over row to name a few.

You’re really not gonna get better than those with all of these complicated motions that it takes forever to develop the skill of doing the move. The more skill it requires, the more difficult it is to get into gonna be, to make any actual progress with it.

[01:12:43] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. And as we wrap up, any good music, any good tunes you’re into as of late?

I know you listened to a lot of what I consider great music, .

[01:12:52] Mike Mahler: Yeah. Yeah. You might, have you heard of the band Fire from the Gods? I have not yet. Oh. I’ll send you some of their music after we get Oh, cool. They’re awesome. Yeah. My wife and I are gonna go see a Fire from the Gods, if you like, living color.

It’s that kind of vibe. Oh, that kind of music. Yeah. They’re awesome. Little bit, not I don’t wanna say rap rock, because that’s not. That’s a little bit too simplistic for them. The vocalist is incredible. The vocalist of Fire from the Gods is off the charts and there’s a song they did where it’s the lead singer of Fire from the Gods and Corey from Living Color doing one of the fire from Oh wow.

I just heard it last night. It’s incredible. It’s really good. So we’re gonna see them this weekend at a small club in Vegas, so it’s gonna be awesome. There’s a place called 24 in Oxford, which used to be Vinyl, which is basically a place that probably doesn’t fit more than 200 people in there. Reminds me of some of the clubs I went to as a kid when I went to hardcore shows.

Yeah, so excited for that. Cause I haven’t been to a concert in a wall. I went to a couple last year that were good. Last year. Saw Judas Priest. They were awesome. Oh yes. Saw Exodus and Testament. They were also, yeah, I saw that show. That was great at Jerry Cantrell. He was really good. We saw Aerosmith last year.

They were awesome still. But I used to go to shows all the time out here pre pandemic because in Vegas, I mean there’s almost, there’s a show almost every night that’s worth going to. Certainly every weekend. And the venues out here are fantastic. So I’m looking forward to some more shows. I think Di Dard is, murder is Coming.

I really wanna see that. Nice. I’m a good fan of theirs. And there’s a band called Brand of Sacrifice. They’re awesome. I believe they’re haven’t heard of them. Too, yeah, it’s, I don’t know if you’re into national genres, basically death, core death metal type stuff. Yeah. Some of that’s good. Yeah.

I’d love to see some hardcore shows. I remember seeing Mad Ball here back in 2015. They were. I’d love to see some more shows like that. But Vegas gets a lot of metal shows. It doesn’t get as much of the hard, the hardcore scene is not that big. Usually if I wanna see a hardcore show, I’ll go to San Diego or Los Angeles, somewhere like that.

Remember I saw Nails in 2015 as well. They were awesome. Oh, wow. Yeah, they were really good. So I’m looking forward to some really good shows. I haven’t seen anything besides this Fire from the Gods, and they’re the opening act for a band that I don’t even care for. We’re just going to see the Fire from the Gods.

They’re opening for Norma Jean, who I never even until they’re, I saw these

[01:15:00] Dr Mike T Nelson: stuff. They’re okay. Like some of their stuff I really like, and some of it I was like, eh, ,

[01:15:05] Mike Mahler: I’m have to check out some of their stuff. Maybe it’s worth sticking around for them. But there’s a UFC this weekend too. John Jones is making us come back.

I really wanna see that. Oh, that’s this. Yeah. Yeah. Heavyweight premier. So that’s gonna be really interesting. He hasn’t fought in three years, so it’s gonna be interesting.

[01:15:18] Dr Mike T Nelson: He went up like a bunch of weight classes too, didn’t he? Supposedly. He went

[01:15:22] Mike Mahler: from light heavyweight to heavyweight, which is a pretty big jump because light heavy weight, light heavyweight tops off at 2 0 5, heavyweight goes up to 2 65.

Yeah. He weighs 250 pounds now. But you have to realize he walked around at maybe two 30 when he fought at 2 0 5. Yeah, he was a bigger dude. Yeah. Yeah, he, it’s not as if he was walking around at 2 0 5. He’s probably 2 0 5 for about two seconds. Yeah. And then his body weight goes back to two 20 and then two 30, by the time he’s actually in the ring and now he’s walking around at two 50, he doesn’t have to cut weight at all.

But he’s spent the last three years really focused on a good strength training regimen. Looked like he had a really good trainer because he was doing all the basic stuff that we would recommend. A lot of dead lifts and squats and zercher lifts and things like that. So he was doing a lot of really good stuff.

So I think it’s. I think his strength training regimen was on point and he took the time to put on the weight too. He didn’t just put on 20, 30 pounds and let’s say six months to a year. He put it on over the course of several years and then got rid of the excess. So I think he said at his heaviest, he was about 2 65, 2 70, but he was carrying too much body fat.

So now he is at two 50 where he doesn’t have shredded abs, but he’s lean and in shape and his cardio’s good. It’s the right balance of everything. So that’s exciting. I’m gonna, I’m excited to see that flight for sure. How about you? Are there any shows coming that you’re excited about in

[01:16:38] Dr Mike T Nelson: your area?

I just got tickets to see skinny Puppy in Denver, Colorado. Yeah, their last tour. They’ve been around for 40 years. And then I might try to see Devil Driver in Austin, possibly, depending when we get there. Yeah. And then what else say, oh Gojira with Masin and Lorna Shore. So they’re doing an outside gig shore

[01:17:02] Mike Mahler: this August.

Yeah, we’ll go to that. Just for Lorna Shore. That new Lono Shore record is awesome. It’s

[01:17:07] Dr Mike T Nelson: amazing. The first time I heard it I was like, I don’t know about this. I was like, man, the second time I heard it I was like, huh. And the third time I heard it, which was the three songs all back to back, like the whole, 21 minutes, the three parts.

And I was like, oh my God, this is amazing. ,

[01:17:22] Mike Mahler: Matt, UFC fighter, Matt Brown, he’s really into metal music. Yeah. So talk about that often. Matt basically says the best music is the stuff that you don’t like initially and it grows in your time. As opposed to the first time you hear a song, you’re like, man, you played a hundred times.

Cuz you like it so much and then you’ve burn it out and you never listen to it again. So that’s what I found with the whole death core genre bands like Ardis, murder White Shop. , took me a while to get used to those vocals. They do the screaming vocals. Initially I was like, eh, I don’t the screaming vocal stuff.

But now I really like it.

[01:17:52] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, it was kinda like Oji. I saw them open for five Finger death punch years ago, and I was like, oh, they were good, but I just couldn’t really get into it. And then probably like two, about two years ago, I was like, oh, it’s all of a sudden you’re like listening to stuff and you’re like, oh, I get it now.

Oh, and then you go back and listen to the earlier stuff you didn’t like and you’re like, oh, this makes so much sense now. This is

[01:18:13] Mike Mahler: great. . I saw Chelsea grin open up for an Amity affliction, and I thought they were terrible. Oh, interesting. And I was like, man, this is noise. I was like, this is now. Now I like Chelsea grin more than Amity Affliction.

It just took a while for them to grow up. Oh,

[01:18:26] Dr Mike T Nelson: interesting. Yeah. Yeah. Best Hardcores live show you’ve ever seen Chrome eggs? For

[01:18:32] Mike Mahler: sure. Okay. Yeah. Chrome eggs in the 1990s were unbeatable. That was the best hardcore show ever. I remember the first time I saw Chrome eggs, Le left an indelible impression in me.

I still look back at that as the best show ever. I would say not. They’re not really a, a hardcore band. They don’t identify as a hardcore band, but they were accepted by the hor hardcore genre as body count. Iced teas were, oh yeah. I saw Body Count when they came out with that first record at the nine 30 Club in DC in fact.

Oh, nice. I don’t even think the record was out yet. It was pre-record where Iced Tea did a rap set, and then he came back with the band and did a body count set. Oh, nice. Shows I’ve ever been to and remember, this isn’t a club that probably couldn’t fit more than 150 people in it, so it was a really intimate video.

I was right in front of the stage. I was pressed against the stage, so he’s right in front of me the whole time. That was a great show. That was probably the one of the best, if not the best concerts I’ve ever seen.

[01:19:26] Dr Mike T Nelson: Nice. The two hardcore bands I haven’t never seen live are the Chrome mags and the Bad Brains.

Yeah, so those are on my

[01:19:33] Mike Mahler: list. . I didn’t see bad brains until, even though I grew up in DC I never, I always missed bad brains. I saw HR do a reggae set one time. That was awesome. How was that? It was really good. Yeah, it was really good that in the same venue, nine 30 Club as I saw a lot of good shows, but I did see Bad Brains in Vegas in 2011, I wanna say, at the House of Blues.

And they were awesome. They were still really good. Funny thing is a friend of mine got me backstage past it, so I went and talked to the guys after the show. Oh, nice one to take. I asked h usually I never ask anyone to take a picture with them. I just, it’s not something I care to. But hr, I’m such a big fan.

I was like, Hey man, I’m sure I don’t wanna bother you Bo I’d love to get a picture with you. And he looked at me as if I asked if I could sleep with his wife, . He had this psychotic look in his face, like I was as like, what I asked was so offensive to him. And I was like, damn man, is he gonna kill me now?

And he just turned and then he just turned and walked away. And I was like, okay. All the stuff I’ve heard about HR is pretty accurate. That guy’s out of his mind. The rest of the guys were cool. Daryl, Jennifer and Dr. Is it Dr. No. Is that what he calls himself? Those guys cool. Yeah, those guys were super cool.

[01:20:43] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. I just find it funny how sometimes the people on stage you think are the craziest like. People you’d be most afraid of. I met Jerry only from the mis witz years ago. Yeah. And he was like the nicest dude ever. He was just, yeah. So nice. And then I went to get a picture with him and he, pulls the hair down, takes his glasses off and does the whole pose and everything.

And he was like super cool. .

[01:21:06] Mike Mahler: I met Doyle once when he did. Yeah. I went to interview him and I, so I hung out with him. And Alisa from Arch Enemy was there too. Yeah. Cool. So anyway, Doyle though I was a big fan of his growing up because the people that got me into physical training were dancing because back then Dansik was Jack.

Yeah, I remember I saw him. Oh yeah, I wanna look like that. And then Doyle has always been jacked. Oh, always. I did the same now as he did back, probably even crazy when he did in the 1990s. And then Harley from the Chrome mag. These are the three inspirations I had for getting into physical training. I’m actually friends with Harley and now I’m like, man, what was I inspired by this little guy?

hundred 70 pounds or hundred 50 pounds since it was nothing could throw him like a football. But back then he was larger than life on stage. But Doyle, that guy’s massive. The whole time I’m interviewed him, he’s big. I can’t believe this guy’s so big. He’s just one of those dudes. He’s six foot five and he’s probably 250 pounds shredded.

He’s got apps, he’s pushing 60. Super nice guy. Just like you say, when you look at these, sometimes you look at these people on stage or they’re just their persona. It can be intimidating, but most of the time I’ve always found that, guys that are the biggest bad asses and very good at their craft, they tend to be the coolest guys because they’re, they don’t need to overcompensate for anything.

They don’t need to project something that they aren’t, they have it. So they have that genuine confidence. Just like people I know that have gone through Navy steel training or did hardcore operations in other countries during war situations, they’re always the nicest people you’ll ever meet in person.

Yeah. It’s the people that need to overcompensate. They’re the ones that try to put on this era of being tough. Yeah, especially

[01:22:38] Dr Mike T Nelson: with those guys, it’s all, they rarely even talk about it, like they don’t brag about it. It’s like the person in the room like you would least expect. And even the guys I’m really good friends with who have done some crazy stuff overseas, it’s, you’d never know it by just seeing ’em walk down the street or even in most engagements, like even when I ask him directly about some crazy stuff they’ve done, they’re like, eh, they’re not super comfortable.

They’ll talk about it, but it’s. Kinda part of their identity anymore, where you meet the crazy person at the bar who’s oh, is the Navy Seal? It’s yeah, . Yeah. Unlikely .

[01:23:12] Mike Mahler: The fact that they’re even saying it is unlike, I had a guy, I had a Navy Seal come to my course one time and we all went out for a group dinner the night before and I introduced him.

I’m like, yeah here is a Navy Seal. And the second I said that, I saw his facial expression get really uncomfortable. And I was like, oh, I shouldn’t have said that. I knew immediately that I shouldn’t have introduced him as that. And the next day he came up to me before the course, he was like, please don’t introduce me as a Navy Seal or tell anyone.

I was like, yeah, I’m sorry about that. I it just came out because it was one of those things where I’ll make it so impressive. You wanted people to know that this guy’s background, but that’s not why they do it. They’re not doing it so that people are like, oh wow, you’re a Navy Seal. That’s so

[01:23:46] Dr Mike T Nelson: impressive.

Yeah. Awesome. Thank you so much for all your time today. I really appreciate it. And where can people find out more about all your information and your products and everything else?

[01:23:57] Mike Mahler: Thank you. Thanks. Really enjoyed talking to you. This is a pleasure. And mike So it’s just my name,, and then links to my Instagram and YouTube and all the content I have is all on there.

So I actually have a ton of free content on hormone optimization, so if anyone found this topic of hormone optimization interesting, just check out all the free contents I have on my website to get started.

[01:24:21] Dr Mike T Nelson: Cool. Awesome. Thank you so much for all your time. I really appreciate it. Thank you.


[01:24:26] Mike Mahler: it. Yeah, thank you.

[01:24:27] Dr Mike T Nelson: Thank you so much for listening to the podcast today. Huge thanks to Mike for his time sharing all of his knowledge of coming on the podcast. It was a great chat. I followed Mike for man long time. I bought one of his kettlebell DVDs back in the day. Ooh, man. , the fact that it’s a DVD shows you about how long ago it was at least it wasn’t vhs.

I do have some stuff on vhs not anymore, but so I’ve been following his stuff for probably 12 to 15 years now. Always a wealth of knowledge. Huge thanks to him for coming down the podcast. Check out all of his information and his products below. No disclosures. I don’t make any money off of them, but highly recommend you check them.

and if you want more great information, you can get onto my newsletter. Go to mike t I send lots of great information in there totally free. And if you have any questions, you can even hit reply and I’ll do the best I can to answer you. If you want to get ahold of me, I’ll replying via the newsletter is gonna be by far the best way cuz as much as I try to keep up on social media and direct message.

I know a lot of ’em just fall through the cracks, and I don’t get back to people sometimes just due to projects and work and other stuff. So go to the newsletter, If you have a direct question, hit reply, or if you just wanna say hi, that would be awesome too. Again, big thanks to Mike Mahler and we will listen and talk at you next time on the podcast.